Babies are so wonderful, aren’t they?
They are cute, cuddly, and look at the world with those wide eyes of wonder. They are happy to just play with their feet and sleep in your arms all day….
Then, soon enough, they turn into toddlers. Also cute. But so much more expensive! Before having my first daughter, I really didn’t think about how much parents can spend on their toddlers.
This time, my husband and I are preparing our family budget for those extra costs. We are budgeting for costs such as private preschool, toddler shoes (so many shoes!!), toddler furniture (slides, bookcases, swing sets!), and extra activities (you know, swim lessons, dance classes, museum memberships..etc). Knowing the expenses ahead, and cutting back on your family budget, will definitely help us financially for both our daughters’ futures. So, here are a few of things we have decided as a family to cut back on in 2017, in order to afford the same lifestyle for both our girls.
No more gym memberships.
Those monthly charges for a gym in your family budget add up. Not to mention, gyms charge you even when you’re on vacation, and they lock you in for a long commitment. These days, there are so many workouts on Youtube that you can do for free from your home. I’ve started doing yoga classes daily from Youtube while my daughter naps, and I love it. My husband has decided on running for his free source of exercise. We found a track right by our house that he loves. We are now noticing the extra cash in our family budget- and feeling just as healthy as when we paid for gym memberships!
One vehicle between the two of us.
I realize this family budget tip may not work for everyone, as many couples have jobs that require both people to work outside the home. But for our family, this has really helped us save. We have one family car that we share. My hours are flexible as a realtor, so I’m able to plan my days around my husband’s normal 9-5 work day. He drops our daughter at school in the morning on his way to the office and I walk to pick her up with the stroller in the afternoon (more free exercise!).
Booking vacations with airline miles, not dollars
We decided this year that we would only do a family vacation if we had enough miles for all three of us to fly for free. Only paying the taxes on flights to Jamaica has saved our family budget a bundle! My husband gets most of his mileage through work trips, but you can also gain miles by simply signing up for a credit card with Delta (you don’t need to use it, just sign up!), and also, many grocery stores participate in mileage programs. The more you shop, the more miles you gain.
Downsizing our house.
This was the biggest game changer when it came to our finances. When we were planning our second pregnancy six months ago, we decided that we would move from our 4 bedroom house to a 3 bedroom house. We cut our monthly mortgage in half by doing this. We decided that our daughters will share a bedroom when they are ready, and we will use the third bedroom as our home office. We thought a lot about this and decided there are so many benefits to our girls sharing a room. For example, they will be used to it when we go on vacation and they have to share. They’ll get used to hearing each other cry, be encouraged to share toys, and hopefully become best friends, in time.
I hope you enjoyed reading my budgeting tips! I’m interested to hear what other families are doing to make ends meet while still living the lifestyle you desire. What are your 2017 family goals?
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Latest posts by Emily Anderson (see all)
- 4 Ways to Conquer your Family Budget for your Second Baby - January 27, 2017
- Part 2- Pregnancy in the US vs Australia, and Gender Reveal Fun! - December 2, 2016
- Pregnancy and Birth Care in the US vs Australia, Part 1 - November 11, 2016